The Greater Bay Area (GBA) is one of the most exciting economic development zones in the world. With a population of more than 86 million and a GDP that is quickly approaching RMB 14.5 trillion, the GBA is an increasingly interconnected region with capabilities in international finance, professional services, research and development, innovation, logistics, aviation, manufacturing and much more.
This area is already a global innovation cluster and a launch pad into Mainland markets for many international businesses. For instance, the Shenzhen-Hong Kong-Guangzhou science and technology cluster was ranked as the world's second largest out of a group of 130 in the World Intellectual Property Organisation's 2022 Global Innovation Index.
We expect that the GBA will account for a significant proportion of the massive two-way flow of capital in this region in the next decade. We also expect that it will become one of the world's wealth, risk and asset management hotspots, as well as a testing ground to pilot RMB internationalisation.
The opportunities presented by the GBA are indeed great news for Hong Kong which already has an established and unrivalled role in facilitating the two-way flows of capital between China and the world. It is the most international city in the GBA, offering global investors and issuers a financial environment that is familiar and trusted.
And to investors and companies in the Mainland, it offers proximity, experience, and critically – international connectivity.
So what has HKEX been doing to tap into the exciting GBA growth story? In short, we have been building connections, channels and foundations. For example, the listing reforms we introduced in 2018 have significantly enhanced connectivity between Mainland China's new economy companies and international capital. And in October this year we announced a consultation on a new listing chapter for specialist technology companies, making it easier for innovators to access global capital.
In our secondary market, we have been strengthening connectivity between the capital markets of the Mainland and Hong Kong with our Stock Connect programme. And the announcement of adding RMB trading counters in Southbound Stock Connect will further reinforce the city's position as the GBA's global RMB business hub.
Another exciting development is the announcement in September this year of the inclusion of Hong Kong-listed international companies in Southbound Stock Connect. For the first time international businesses will be able to tap directly into the pools of capital on the Mainland.
These, and other initiatives, are foundational. They lay the framework for the future.
HKEX remains committed to supporting an ever more robust, comprehensive financial and investment ecosystem across the GBA. An ecosystem developed from the right products, platforms and partnerships.
We look forward to working with all our colleagues and friends across the GBA and beyond to build the Marketplace of the Future.